“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, May 21, 2007


It's 1am on Sunday night and I have a big computer assignment due tomorrow, but I think I will send off a note to procrastinate. It certainly beats hunting the mosquitoes that keep emerging in my room (there is at least one every 5 minutes, and when I zap them, others keep coming. I just don't know where they are coming from!!)

Things have been absolutely crazy for the last few weeks, and this week will be similar. I still have 3 assignments to finish, but now I only have 4 days to do them. They will be shoddily done, but I don't really care at this stage. I leave for my holidays on Sunday. Yay holidays!! This is what I'm doing-- On Sunday I will fly for the longest time I think I have ever flown--I go from here to Bangkok to Taipei to Seattle to Chicago to Miami to Bogota, all with 3 or 4 hour layovers, and on three different tickets! I hope it goes smoothly. For my flightback in August I'm still waitlisted--have never bought a waitlisted ticket before!! I'll spend 3 lovely weeks with Hayley and Stuart tripping around Colombia, and then I'll return to the states on the 19th stopping off to see Christy and Jonah in Miami (I hope!). I wanted to stop in Central America somewhere but the tickets were insanely more expensive (despite most airlines going via there anyway!)

My exam is in the middle on June 12th, and I will do it at Hayley and Stuart's school with perhaps them as my proctors! I go from there to Chicago to try on bridesmaid dresses with Amanda and have shoes dyed to match. I start work in Massachussetts on Thursday the 21st, and it will be nice to do nothing but work! :) At the end of 6 weeks, on Aug 4, I flyto Seattle, go to a wedding, then at 4am fly back to Myanmar to jump right back into work here (meanwhile, studies start up again on July 24th---thankfully a smaller load than before).

My house is wonderful, but not without pains--I knew that would happen though. We had some water leaks, and a small installation error with the washing machine--I'm so handy with a screwdriver that I fixed it myself. Yay for me. We've had 3 plumber visits and still no luck, though things have been changed in the offending toilet and the pump is working slightly less often! To be honest, if the plumber is so useless as to rig the washing machine wrong, I have my doubts about the rest of his work elsewhere! (People here often have a habit of not fixing things properly to ensure continued jobs.) We had two power cuts on Sunday evening, but only for 20 mins each... so far so good on that account.The 3 huge padlocks to get into the house are a pain, especially when I'm busting to go to the loo or if it's raining. There are odd little quirks everywhere (like a shower that doesn't drain well, the only laundry hanging space being upstairs off one of the bedrooms, and taps that aren't allowed to be fully turned off or they leak!). There are millions of geckos and frogs, some stray cats, but thankfully no snakes and no rats yet! Ants are a huge problem (they got inside the sealed glass jar the sugar was in and had a huge party!) and migrate within minutes of leaving anything unattended! The mosquitoes are AWFUL, but hopefully that will ease when rainy season ends. I went and bought the most hideous orange mosquito net yesterday because the night before was so unbearable, but slept blissfully last night.

Rainy season is here early and with full force. It rains every day in buckets and we've had at least two major storms pass over--nothing like that happened this time last year.We had a party on Saturday (in case I didn't have enough else to do). There was drunken debauchery, but I was too busy dealing with an empty water tank in the middle of a huge storm!! It turns out that we have 3 pumps...nothing is ever simple here! We have one that pumps the water in from the road to a holding tank (that must breed a million mosquitoes in an hour, not to mention bacteria and slime). We have another tank to pump from the holding tank to the high tank. We have a third pressure pump to pump from the high tank to the house because the high tank isn't high enough! Thankfully the pressure pump is automatic, but its problem would be OVERuse! The others, however, are run by a lovely little man who our landlady employs, and he fills ourtanks daily (but of course, not at 11pm on a Saturday night, even if we could get in touch with said landlady to ask her!). He even cuts our grass :). So I went outside to figure all this out (had a vague idea but no clue as to which tap went where, whether it was on or not,whether the pump would explode or not, or even where the switch to turn it on was. Found it (after slipping and sliding in mud and slime) and started filling, but of course the rains were so heavy I had no way to tell when it was full and over flowing! On the other side ofthe house an overzealous guest was throwing up all over our frontsteps--thankfully not IN the house, but still, it was under the awning where the rain would not wash it away.

Installed our clothesline today, and things are running smoothly in most areas (except mosquitoes!). We have to take our own rubbish out,which is a real pain. This means that every night after 6pm we must wander down the road in the dark through the puddles carrying our rubbish to the communal rubbish dump near the market. A big snake moseyed over the road the othernight! We get there, and no doubt our every item is thoroughly perused by those in need of an extra penny from the recycling that we are unable to engineer. We have about 40 empty beer bottles from our party that we have no idea what to do with because we have no means of transporting them anywhere. Perhaps our lovely maid will have the desire to take them somewhere tomorrow... we've offered them to her anyway! Where else in the world would people be eager to take such junk off your hands!

I am marking my exams for school at the moment (or actually, procrastinating from marking them). Yuck! But yay to no more teaching for a while. Farewell dinners, lunches, graduation and other festivities! Boo to boring assignments that pull me away from fun times. Never enough time in the day! You probably won't hear from me in a while, but will try and drop a line from Bogota.

1 comment:

Rama said...

I'll see you in August... :) If you're still functioning that is.

I had this dream that I visited you in Rangoon, then journeyed to Tibet and Nepal. It was so real... which is freaky since I've never been there so how did I know what the area looked like?